CG5 Strictly Business Boxing

Boxing promotion Strictly Business Boxing and CG5 join force for one night only and our very own Steve Ewards will be stepping into the ring following 8 weeks of training

29 Jan 2016

CG5 announce first patron

mickCG5 is extremely proud to announce it’s first patron as Mick Donovan, the Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor & Head of Institute of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Worcester.

Mick Donovan joined the University of Worcester in 1999 with a strong background in coaching and teaching. Mick was a physical education teacher for 13 years and then made the transition to Higher Education when he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer at the University of Warwick. So far at Worcester he has pioneered the Learning Through Sport programme that has received national and international recognition and was co-founder and former coach of the Worcester Wolves Basketball Club. He became Head of Institute in 2008 and has played a leading role in the development of the University of Worcester Arena and has played a significant role in developing international links with partners ranging from FIBA Europe to the National Training Centre in China. Mick has delivered keynote lectures with a focus on Coach Education / Philosophy and Learning Through Sport at conferences and universities around the World.

CG5 awards second set of grants to county sport stars

Growing Worcestershire non-profit organisation CG5 has awarded its second batch of sporting grants to seven county athletes and sports teams.

Founded earlier this year to promote participation in sport and provide financial backing to young sportspeople, CG5 has awarded a total of £3,500 to the group of aspiring sports stars at a special event held at Worcester Arena.

18 year-old Emma Witherford, a freestyle kayaker, was awarded a grant to help fund the purchase of a new carbon boat which will improve her chances of being selected for the British senior squad in 2016. Emma has previously competed for Great Britain at the Junior and Freestyle World Championships.

The second CG5 grant was awarded to fencing star Abigail Watkins. Abigail, 14, is currently ranked 15th in the UK and has been awarded a grant to upgrade her equipment so she can complete in international competitions.

Also awarded grants were 16 year-old cricketer Grace Chaundy and England long-distance runner Jenny Nesbitt. Grace, a Warwickshire county cricketer, is travelling to South Africa next year as part of a development squad and the funding will help to pay for her trip. Meanwhile Jenny, the 2014 Worcester 10k champion, will now be able to access support from sports physios so the 20 year-old can continue to compete in international competitions as she aims for the British squad.

Local men also featured on CG5’s grant list. Rising British kayak star Paul Sunderland, 18, will use the funding to help replace his boat which was damaged travelling home from competing in Poland – while William Kitching, a 19-year-old Welsh international badminton player who trains at the University of Worcester, can now support his career ambitions by entering more tournaments across Europe.

CG5’s final grant went, for the first time, to a local team. Worcester Wolves Basketball Academy under 12s will use the funding to encourage more young people into the sport and to help them participate at a higher level of competition.

Simon Secretan, a Trustee of CG5 said: “It really is amazing to be able to award this set of seven grants to young sports people here in Worcestershire.

“CG5 is still to celebrate its first anniversary but we have already seen hundreds of applications from all across the county. That’s really encouraging as we enter 2016 – a year where we will be looking to make further grants and to help more young people realise their sporting dreams.”


CG5 Awards First Grants

Worcestershire non-profit organisation CG5 has awarded its first ever grants to a trio of up-and-coming local athletes.The sports-related organisation, founded to promote participation in sport and provide financial backing to local able bodied and disabled athletes and young sportspeople, has awarded a total of £2,000 to the aspiring Olympians with the money being used to fund equipment and training.

Callie-Anne Halliday, a 21-year-old PE student from the University of Worcester, was awarded a grant to help her fulfil her dream of becoming a professional canoeist. Callie, who has severe hearing loss, is striving to make the Team GB under-23 squad and has set her sights on the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. The grant will be used by Callie-Anne, who first represented Team GB when she was 16, to fund the purchase of a waterproof hearing aid.

CG5’s second grant was awarded to Malvern schoolgirl Aimee Stephenson. Aimee, 14, is one of the country’s brightest sailing talents who also has her sights set on the 2020 Olympics with her immediate aim to make the British Youth Sailing Squad for the 2015 winter season. Aimee was awarded a grant to help upgrade her boat and race-standard rigging.

Staying in the water, the charity’s final grant was awarded to 14-year-old, Jessica Magson. Jessica, from Stone, is another high potential canoeist and part of the Canoeing England Talent Programme. The schoolgirl has been invited to take part in an exclusive development camp with the squad in France where she will be training alongside premier division athletes. The grant Jessica has been awarded will help fund her participation in the camp.

Steve Edwards of Spirit Executive, and a Trustee of CG5 said: “The aim of CG5 is to encourage participation and development in all sports while at the same time inspiring people to reach an elite level.

“Our first round of grants have been awarded to three amazing young sports people from Worcestershire. Callie-Ann, Aimee and Jessica all have superb sporting careers ahead of them so we are delighted to be playing our role in their development and look forward to tracking their progress.

“We will be making further grants later this year and throughout 2016 so would urge readers to get in touch if they feel they need support.”

CG5 was established in 2014 by a group of four trustees. Aside from Mr Edwards they include Worcestershire businessmen Simon Secretan, Phill Mason and former Worcester Warriors lock, Craig Gillies.

They award grants of up to £1,000 per person with the trustees deciding on which individuals to support. People who take part in the events hosted by CG5 also have the opportunity to give their opinion on grant awards.

Please get in touch if you would like to get involved or you know someone who would benefit from an award at

Supporting Elite Rugby Players

Unlike football elite rugby still works in the same way as club rugby, although it is very much improving, there are still gaps in the support of young, elite, rugby sportsmen that need to be bridged by parents, friends, family and in some cases the wider business and game watching community.

A young footballer with international prospect, who may be on the edge of first team elite level selection can expect to earn anything from £10,000 per month to the mega money Galactico signings of £250,000 per month. There are many elite rugby stars that will never attain even the lower level of this earning bracket, let alone a teenager making his first steps into senior rugby.

Rugby sponsorship is generally ran by professional clubs to generate income and to help engage with local business. When I have supported players, through club sponsorship, I have always taken it one step further.

I believe that the more mentors an elite hopeful has, the more fact based decisions he can make. Within the rugby academy set-up players spend their days supported by sports scientists, elite players, internationally experienced players and coaches, but they have limited exposure to daily business, “the grind” of 9 to 5 or the expectations of the “real world”.

I have sponsored many young elite rugby players, through formal club sponsorship, but through this I have also tried to mentor the players and expose them to “life after rugby” situations and opportunity. Although they are all still young and have great careers ahead of them, professional sport is a short career and sometimes it can end without prior warning. I feel that through networking, training and general business exposure it helps the players keep their minds on their game as they are more comfortable that life off the pitch will be just as successful.

As with business, the activity performed by and through CG5 is not always going to be financial. The use of sporting and business networks to provide on field and off field opportunity will have significant impact and help ensure, that through sport, all the young people supported by CG5 have the chance to succeed and develop life skills that will help them for their entire lives.

Gillies is handed patron honour

Craig Gillies one of our founders was recently unveiled as the first patron of Worcester Wolves.

The 38-year-old, who is the Sixways outfit’s leading appearance maker with 288 games, is a big supporter of the British Basketball League club and will get a guard of honour from the players before the match against Sheffield Sharks at the University Arena (7.30pm).

Gillies, who stands at 6ft 8ins, retired from professional rugby at the end of the 2012-13 season but has always been a keen enthusiast and currently plays for Worcester Bears Grizzlies in West Midland League Division One.

He said: “To be named as the first patron of the Wolves is a huge honour for me. I am extremely humbled and grateful to be recognised by the club in this way.

“Although I spent 16 years as a professional rugby player, basketball was my first real sporting passion and my early sporting influences and idols came from the game.

“Having been in Worcester for 12 years, it’s important to me to see all of the city’s sporting teams thriving and I’m very much looking forward to this role and strengthening my links with the Wolves.”

Wolves managing director Mick Donovan said: “Since the formation of the Wolves 15 years ago, we have attracted followers who have allegiances with many other sports teams from our region.

“It is fitting that our first patron also has the respect of so many sports fans. We are delighted that Craig has accepted our invitation and feel proud that he will be associated with our club.”

Warriors legend Craig Gillies calls time on his Worcester career

Warriors record appearance-maker and one of the club’s greatest ever players, Craig Gillies, has today announced his decision to finish his playing career at Worcester.

Line-out king Gillies has been a key component of the Worcester pack since moving to Sixways in 2002.

The 37-year-old is one of a rare breed in modern sport having committed himself to the Warriors for over a decade.

Gillies is the leading appearance-maker at Warriors in the modern era with a staggering 288 games in all competitions – a record never likely to be eclipsed.

The giant second row, who has also played at Bath, Richmond and Llanelli, is widely regarded as one of the best line-out operators ever in the top-flight and won England ‘A’ honours in 2000.

“It’s been a difficult decision for me to make and I always knew it would be tough to stop playing, but I am excited by the future and the next stage of my life,” said Gillies.

“Physically I feel I could continue for a few more years. However, an opportunity has been presented to me to look to the future and it truly feels like the time is right for me to make this move.

“I have a health and nutrition business that is rapidly expanding and it is proving already to be hugely successful. It is also a busy time for me as my testimonial committee has a full calendar of events planned over the coming year for which I am extremely grateful.

“I know being a one-club man is a rarity these days, but I do feel like that at Warriors. I have always enjoyed being part of the set-up here and the challenge of putting this club up with the elite. I look forward to continuing my strong relationship with the club.

Over the years a vast number of people have played a crucial part in my career. I would like to thank every one of my team-mates, the coaching staff and support staff that I have worked with. And, of course, the Worcester fans who have been brilliant towards me on every step of my journey.

“A special thank you to Cecil Duckworth for everything he’s done for me personally, for this club and the city. He is an incredible individual who has given so much. Hopefully this season will be a success because no-one deserves it more than him.”

Dean Ryan, director of rugby at Warriors, paid tribute to Gillies’ contribution at Sixways and said: “Craig has been a fantastic servant to Worcester Warriors over the last 11 years. He is the first real Warrior of this club and has given so much to the cause here.

“The values that Craig has illustrated over his time at Warriors are the framework for others to follow. His attitude and application has been outstanding and he has been a role model for so many.

“Craig now has new ventures and opportunities to explore at this stage of his life and so we wish him every success with that and in the future.”

Duckworth praised Gillies for his ‘magnificent contribution’ and ‘total professionalism’ during his playing time at Sixways.

He said: “For many years, Craig was simply the first name on the team sheet and I always remember our first promotion season to the Aviva Premiership when he was immense. I cannot speak more highly of him as a player or as a person.

“Craig will always stand alongside the likes of Tony Windo and Pat Sanderson as true legends at Warriors.

“He will always remain a key part of this club and we will continue to support him as he concentrates on other opportunities away from rugby.”